Heidelberg Materials Trading and Twiga Cement join forces with CleanHub and The Recycler to ease plastic pollution in Tanzania

Plastic pollution is a global crisis. It negatively contributes to human health by ingesting microplastic particles, leading to the loss of marine biodiversity and accelerating climate change if waste is burned openly. 

While reducing plastic usage plays a crucial role, especially in developed countries, scaling collection capacities of plastic waste is equally important in developing countries to prevent ocean plastic. The partnership between HMT, Twiga Cement (both part of Heidelberg Materials Group), CleanHub, and The Recycler aims at collecting at least 550t of non-recyclable plastics over the next year in Tanzania. For every chartered HMT vessel, 1000 kg of plastic waste will be collected and recovered - with a special focus on preventing marine litter. “The Recycler,” a Tanzanian waste management company, will run the collection. All the plastic collected will be then used as fuel in the production of clinker in Twiga.

The non-recyclable plastic will be co-processed as an alternative fuel in the kiln of the Twiga Cement plant, leading to a double impact: The waste's energy will replace fossil fuels while plastics, being at the end of their life cycle, are processed in the most environmental friendly way possible. At the same time, the collection and co-processing of plastic waste will enable a cleaner Tanzania and less plastic pollution in the ocean.

With this collaboration, 550t of that non-recyclable plastic now holds enough value to be collected.  As José María Magrina, CEO of HMT, commented: “Coming from the cement industry, we clearly understand the economics of waste management. When CleanHub proposed the concept, we were convinced that this holistic scope was the best approach to tackle the problem. We aim to prove that solving big societal issues is possible if we collaborate across industries. We hope to find more companies that follow our lead in giving value to non-recyclable plastic waste.”

Twiga Cement is part of the Heidelberg Materials Group and is fully committed to reduce CO2 emissions and involved with the Community and HCT to improve the waste management and to further develop alternative fuels as critical pillars within our environmental policy.